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First capacitive touch slider IC?

Posted: 15 Mar 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:quantum research group? capacitive touch slider ic? qt401? qslide chip? qslide?

Quantum Research Group released what it bills as the world's first capacitive touch slider IC. According to the company, the QT401 QSlide chip replaces electromechanical controls by mimicking a pots include EEPROM" target=_blank>potentiometer.

A touch control based on QSlide offers cost savings and greater reliability over electromechanical alternatives as there are no moving parts to wear out, and the control can be fully sealed to make it environmentally impervious, said Quantum. QSlide also creates design flexibility and enables a wider choice of materials to be used for system packaging because the slider sensing is highly reliable. In addition, the slider strip does not need to be a straight line; it can be formed into an arc or some other shape to suit the application. System aesthetics can therefore be tailored to the end product. QSlide offers 7-bit resolution, with position data sent via a standard serial SPI interface to a host controller.

The new chip utilizes two patented charge-transfer sensing channels working across a simple linear resistive element. A mathematical technique is used to determine the touch position independent of signal strength, making detection both accurate and reliable, said the press release. The resistive element can consist of discrete resistors connected in series, a resistive thick-film layer, or an optically-clear indium tin oxide (ITO) film for use over LCDs.

Quantum explained that LCDs can gain touch screen capabilities by mounting ITO slider strips behind the cover lens, a technique that is less expensive than using a resistive touch screen with the added reliability benefit that the sensor strip is protected by the cover lens.

The QT401 QSlide chip is priced at $1.97 each in 100,000-unit orders. This IC can be assessed using the company's E401 evaluation board. The E401 board includes an interface converter to connect it to a PC, plus display software. The E401 PCB comes fully assembled and tested, ready for adhering to the supplied plastic demo panel or to the inside of the user's end product. This board costs $95 via distribution.




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